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Etta D. Pisano, M.D.

Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine

 Dear Colleagues:

Yuko Palesch, PhD, Appointed Interim Chair, Department of Public Health Sciences

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Yuko Palesch as Interim Chair of our new Department of Public Health Sciences.  She will assume this role effective January 1, 2013.  Dr. Palesch currently serves as Director of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, which will become a part of the Department of Public Health Sciences.

The creation of a new Department of Public Health Sciences is the result of recommendations from the College of Medicine Research Strategic Plan, which was developed in Fall 2010.  We have been conducting a national search for an individual to lead this new department, and while we have had some excellent candidates to consider for this position, we have not been able to successfully finalize a recruitment to date.  We have decided to proceed with establishment of the department while we continue to search for an individual to serve as Chair.

I am very pleased and grateful that Dr. Palesch has agreed to serve as Interim Chair of this new department until a permanent Chair has been identified and has joined the institution.  I am confident that she will be a good steward of the Department of Public Health Sciences during this time of transition.  Please join me in welcoming Dr. Palesch to this new role and in thanking her for her service to the institution.

Biorepository Committee Report Now Available

Over the past several months, under the leadership of Senior Associate Dean for Research Craig Crosson and Dr. Lotta Granholm, a committee has been meeting to develop recommendations for a coordinated biorepository effort across the College.  Committee members included John Arthur, Marc Chimowitz, Richard Drake, Philip Howe, Jihad Obeid, Mary Richardson, Steve Rosenzweig, Kumar Sambamurti, and Susan Sonne.  Their report is available for review on the research discussion forum at and we welcome your input and comments on this document.  The document can also be found on the COM Research webpage under the Research Strategic Plan link.

Faculty Affairs Roundtables

The College of Medicine Faculty Affairs Team invites you to attend the next session in the new series of Faculty Affairs Roundtables.  This session will be presented by Dr. Gary Gilkeson on the topic of Modified Research Track Faculty and will be offered twice on January 17 – 12:00-1:00 p.m. and 4:30-5:30 p.m. – in 628H Clinical Sciences Building.  This session is intended to be highly participatory and foster lively discussion.  Faculty are encouraged to participate in this event.  Please RSVP to Mary McConnell ( no later than January 11 for this session.

The Faculty Affairs Team welcomes input on topics of interest to be covered during future Faculty Affairs Roundtables.  Please share your thoughts on the discussion forum at  For more information about the Faculty Affairs Team and services provided, please go to

Faculty Bridge Funding Program

Faculty are reminded that the application deadline for the current cycle of the Bridge Funding Program is next Monday, December 17, 2012.  The purpose of this program is to support investigators with established clinical or basic research programs during periods when a competitive renewal was not funded.  Program details and the application format are available at  Applications may be emailed to Mary McConnell at  Faculty with questions about this program should contact Senior Associate Dean for Research Craig Crosson.

Discussion Forums

As a reminder, we have created new electronic discussion platforms focusing on education, research, clinical affairs, and general information from the Dean’s Office and the College of Medicine.  These forums are intended to serve several purposes.  First, they are another way for my office to share important information with faculty, staff, and students.  Second, they are meant to encourage discussion about issues within the college and to empower everyone within the college to voice their opinions.  These “discussion forums” are intended to be not only channels for messages to be sent out, but channels for YOUR ideas, comments and questions to be heard by college leadership.  Your voice matters and we are pleased there is a new way for it to be heard.  You can access these forums by using the following links and your net ID and password:

Faculty Breakfast Meetings

Faculty who are interested in attending one of my breakfast meetings should contact Beverly Carson ( and indicate which area of focus (research, clinical, education, administration) is of greatest interest to them.  These meetings will typically be held on Thursday mornings at 7:30 a.m.  I hope all faculty who would like to participate in these discussions will sign up for a future breakfast meeting.

Holiday Wishes

As we approach the end of another year, I’d like to wish all members of the College a healthy and happy holiday season.  I don’t have the opportunity to thank each of you personally for all you contribute to our missions throughout the year, but please know that your efforts are greatly appreciated.  I have recorded a video ( to express my feelings to all of you.

As always....

Let's work together to meet our strategic planning goal - to be in the Top 25 among academic medical centers for reputation, quality, service, efficiency and financial performance by 2015.  I look forward to hearing from you - either in person or via email.